Zwei empty food pan call . . . but no apparent problem

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Amiga, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Just fishing for a few ideas.

    Zwei is outside, as usual, with the flock, in the day pen, safe and sound as far as I can tell.

    But for the last 15 minutes or so, she's been giving the staccato honk that is usually given when there's no food.

    Funf has occasionally done, this, too.

    The other ducks are standing around, not doing much, not standing at attention but not behaving as if they are relaxed.

    I checked the house and veranda - doesn't look like anything's there or recently has been. I did fluff things around making sure of that before I let them into the pen/house area.

    It's mild - about 50F, and raining lightly.

    There are crows calling and flying about 250 feet away, perhaps harassing a hawk or cat.

    So, I'm asking myself:

    Hormones? (It's late autumn here)
    Annoyed that they're closed in the pen?
    Is she calling to the crows?
    Bored?
    Does she smell or sense a predator that is lurking nearby?


    We have a long list of predators, which is the reason she's in the day pen with the door shut while I spend a little time indoors (I spent a few hours with them outdoors this morning, and I got fairly moist and chilly).
     
  2. featherfinder

    featherfinder Runner Lover

    Maybe she just misses you and wants your attention [​IMG]


    Or it could be the crows or something in the distance you can not sense.
     
  3. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a flock alert of some kind. Keep a close watch.......
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, I'll be going out again into the pen with them for a few minutes. Her honks have stopped, but looking out the window I see she's still looking tense, while Funfie, right beside her, is washing her head and shaking her tail.

    Thanks y'all. This is not the typical, "hey, wouldja get yourself out here and pay us some attention?!" noise.

    Coyotes and foxes are known to visit during daylight hours in this neighborhood.

    up. there she goes. here I go.
     
  5. featherfinder

    featherfinder Runner Lover

    Keep us posted. Its sounding more and more like something is out there and she is not happy about it.
     
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Sounds like she is echoing the crows. Whatever they are talking about she wants to send on the alert. Just like dogs do through a neighborhood.
     
  7. dumb_cluck

    dumb_cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hate to mention it, but Global Warming is causing some un-natural changes that we (and our critters) are not ready for.

    Predators are being more brave than normal. Their hunting environment has been disrupted.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Okay, that didn't take long. As soon as they saw me coming this time, it was everybody yelling their enthusiastic greeting, running toward me. Earlier, everyone stayed mum (except Zwei) and stood stock still. There had to be something out there.

    The crows are quiet now.

    I moved the runners' feed pan from the Veranda (where it would remain dry) out into the Day Pen. That met with widespread approval.

    I kicked the sawdust and straw around a bit in the Veranda. No visual evidence of other critters' having been there.

    Sechs ran into the duck house, checked it out, strolled back out again. I reckon it passed inspection.

    Happiness and peace have returned to the Day Pen.

    This confirms my decision to keep the door closed for now. If I'm nearby I'll often let them roam "their" garden, which has a 3 foot fence around it. If I need to concentrate on something indoors, they get closed into the pen, which has fence across the top as well.

    Thanks for the moral support!
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    WestKnollAmy, that crossed my mind. Right now there's a lone crow calling nearby, but apparently it's not a message that's worrying Zwei. Zwei, by the way, is the co-spokesduck right now. So she's just doing her job.

    dumb-cluck, it has definitely been a different kind of weather year, here. And due to land use changes, wild animals are being pushed and shoved around, and so I try not to be complacent. Though I think of coyotes and coy-dogs and foxes as night-time predators, they'll go looking for food when they're really hungry. There's a state forest about a mile from here, and it's hunting season, so there are all kinds of disruptions to their rhythms. Today it's thick clouds and rain off and on. It seems to me that hunting animals often come out when the light is low, not completely dark. So at times today, it's been as dark as late afternoon. We're in a woodland edge area - great hunting grounds.

    Domestic cats and dogs occasionally go wandering around the neighborhood, too, and I know the birds mob the cats sometimes. Coulda been a cat. The ducks seem to recognize our three kitties.

    Shew. Hope that's that for a while.

    Thanks again!
     

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